Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

FOCUS

Indian women on frontline of battle against alcohol

Read more

INSIDE THE AMERICAS

Race to the White House: Hillary Clinton's popularity problem

Read more

THE INTERVIEW

HRW chief Kenneth Roth: 'Putin cares about European public opinion'

Read more

BUSINESS DAILY

Facebook profits soar 186% as user numbers surge

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Turkey: 'Once upon a time, there was a democracy'

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Priest attack: 'After the shock, now come the questions'

Read more

EYE ON AFRICA

DR Congo: Thousands welcome opposition leader Tshisekedi after two-year absence

Read more

MEDIAWATCH

FRANCE 24 amongst French media to stop publishing jihadists' photos

Read more

THE DEBATE

Church attack aftermath - France's political fallout: Who stands to benefit?

Read more

France

Mayor backs down from gay wedding after threats

Text by Joseph BAMAT

Latest update : 2012-11-09

The mayor of a small town in northern France has cancelled her plans to preside over the civil marriage of two women after receiving “violent and threatening” messages.

The mayor of a small town in northern France has cancelled a same-sex marriage ceremony, which she had agreed to preside over on November 10, after receiving a torrent of “violent” threats.

“Given the numerous violent and threatening reactions, I currently cannot take the risk of darkening this day,” Desirée Duhem, the mayor of Hantay, said in a press release sent to FRANCE 24.

A week earlier, Duhem, a member of France’s Socialist Party, caught the attention of the French media by announcing she would perform a civil marriage between two women that would have likely been invalidated by authorities.

In her statement, the mayor said she did not fear legal reprisals against her, but was worried about “unrest” during the ceremony. “By a mutual accord between the two young women and myself, we have cancelled this civil act that is not yet authorised by law.”

Duhem also thanked the many “encouraging” letters and messages of support she received from France and Belgium. Hantay, which counts around 1,000 inhabitants, lies 20 kilometres from the city of Lille and 40 kilometres from the border with Belgium.

Gay marriage storm brewing

France is inching toward legalising marriage and adoption rights for same-sex couples. Government cabinet members approved a draft bill to authorise gay marriage and adoption on November 7, and President François Hollande promised that it will be on the statute books by mid-2013.

In announcing the premature wedding between the lesbian couple, Mayor Duhem said she hoped the government would afford her some leeway.

Hollande, who was elected president in May, campaigned on the promise to extend marriage to same-sex couples.

France has allowed civil unions between same-sex couples, known in France as the Pacs, since 1999.

Anti-gay marriage groups, as well as Catholic, Protestant, Jewish and Muslim groups as well as France’s conservative opposition, have called for nationwide protests against gay marriage on November 17.

Date created : 2012-11-09

  • FRANCE

    Lesbian kiss steals spotlight at French anti-gay parenting protest

    Read more

  • FRANCE

    Catholic Church weighs in against gay marriage

    Read more

  • US ELECTIONS 2012

    US states vote to legalise pot and same-sex marriage

    Read more

COMMENT(S)